How many times have you thrown away those little "DO NOT EAT" packets inside your new handbag or shoebox?
Many are aware that it can be "hazardous" based on the labels, but not everyone knows what its purpose actually is. It turns out, silica gel (a.k.a. the tiny, transparent beads inside the packets) keeps excess moisture from ruining the material of your shoes and handbags—especially leather ones—when stored in closets. Moisture is what causes unused suede or leather bags to be prone to discoloration and to grow pesky molds.
Silica gels are desiccants—in other words, they absorb and help control humidity in the air. These packets work best, however, in confined spaces. As one netizen recommends: "Store [both your leather bag and] a silica gel desiccant inside a dust bag or even inside the bag itself." The same goes for your footwear; store it in its original shoebox and place a silica sachet inside.
Apart from bags and shoes, these packets are particularly useful for your jewelry, too. Moisture is one of the common culprits of tarnished rings and bracelets; this explains why it's recommended to wipe down sterling silver jewelry every now and then.
Store your accessories inside a jewelry box or a small ziplock bag (if you tend to carry them inside your tote every day) and stash a silica sachet inside. This will prevent silver jewelry, in particular, from losing its luster or becoming tarnished.
If you've already thrown away all your silica gels, don't fret; there are many online shopping sites that sell them in bulk!*This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.